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The voice of football. The NFL's narrator for generations. A master of restraint.
Pat Summerall soothed American television audiences over four decades — his deep, resonant voice and simple, understated style served as the perfect complement to the boisterous enthusiasm of John Madden, his partner in a celebrated pairing that lasted half of the NFL player-turned-announcer's career.
Summerall died Tuesday at age 82 of cardiac arrest, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center spokesman Jeff Carlton said, speaking on behalf of Summerall's wife, Cheri.
Summerall called 16 Super Bowls and became such a large part of the NFL that it was easy to forget he was the leading voice of the Masters and the U.S. Open tennis tournament, as well.
"He was royalty in the broadcast booth," Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said.
His final play-by-play words beside Madden were succinct, of course, as he called the game-ending field goal of the Super Bowl for Fox on Feb. 3, 2002, when New England beat St. Louis 20-17.
"It's right down the pipe. Adam Vinatieri. No time on the clock. And the Patriots have won Super Bowl XXXVI. Unbelievable," Summerall said.
Sparse, exciting, perfect. A flawless summation without distracting from the reaction viewers could see on the screen.
At the end of their final broadcast together, Madden described Summerall as "a treasure" and the "spirit of the National Football League" in a tribute to the partner that the former Oakland Raiders coach badly wanted to keep — and did — when he had to switch networks 20 years ago.
"Pat was my broadcasting partner for a long time, but more than that he was my friend for all of these years," Madden said in a statement Tuesday. "Pat Summerall is the voice of football and always will be."
Summerall played 10 NFL seasons from 1952 to 1961 with the Chicago Cardinals and New York Giants, but it was in his second career that he became a voice familiar to generations of sports fans, not only those of the NFL.
"Pat was a friend of nearly 40 years," CBS Sports broadcaster Verne Lundquist said. "He was a master of restraint in his commentary, an example for all of us. He was also one of the great storytellers who ever spoke into a microphone."
Summerall started doing NFL games for CBS in 1964, and became a play-by-play guy 10 years later. He was also part of coverage of the PGA Tour, including the Masters from 1968-94, and U.S. Open tennis.
When CBS lost its NFL deal after the 1993 season, Summerall switched to Fox to keep calling NFL games with Madden. Summerall had hoped to keep working with CBS for other events like the Masters, but network executives saw it otherwise. At the time, CBS Sports anchor Jim Nantz said he was "very saddened" that Summerall didn't get to leave CBS under his own terms.
"Pat Summerall was a hero to me," Nantz said Tuesday. "I treasured the gift of friendship that I had with him. I was his understudy for 10 years. He could not have been more generous or kind to a young broadcaster."
A recovering alcoholic, Summerall had a liver transplant in April 2004. The lifesaving surgery was necessary even after 12 years of sobriety.
After an intervention involving, among others, former NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle, former CBS Sports President Peter Lund and former PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beaman, Summerall checked into the Betty Ford Clinic in April 1992.
"I had no intention of quitting, I was having too good a time," Summerall said in a 2000 Associated Press story. "The prescribed stay at Betty Ford is 28 days. They kept me 33 because I was so angry at the people who did the intervention, the first five days didn't do me any good."
Summerall received the liver of a 13-year-old junior high football player from Arkansas who died unexpectedly from an aneurysm. Summerall had an emotional meeting with the teenager's family the following year.
"He always had a joke," Madden said. "Pat never complained and we never had an unhappy moment. He was something very special."
Summerall often shared his testimony with Christian groups and told his story when speaking before other organizations. In his 2006 book, "Summerall: On and Off The Air," he frankly discussed his personal struggles and professional successes.
Long before broadcasting Super Bowl games, 16 for television and 10 more for radio — in fact, before there was even a Super Bowl — Summerall played a role in what is known in football circles as "The Greatest Game Ever Played," the 1958 NFL championship. The Giants lost to the Baltimore Colts 23-17 in the NFL's first-ever overtime game.
"Pat Summerall was one of the best friends and greatest contributors that the NFL has known," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. "His majestic voice was treasured by millions of NFL fans for more than four decades. It is a sad day in the NFL."
Born George Allen Summerall on May 10, 1930, in Lake City, Fla., he was an all-state prep football and basketball player there, and lettered in baseball and tennis. He played college football at Arkansas before going to the NFL.
After breaking his arm in the preseason as a rookie for Detroit, Summerall played five years for the Chicago Cardinals before four seasons with the Giants. While he was also a defensive back, Summerall was primarily a kicker, making 100 field goals and 256 of 265 extra points in his career.
The most famous was a 49-yarder through the wind and snow at Yankee Stadium that gave the Giants a 13-10 victory against the Cleveland Browns. The win gave the Giants the home field for a rematch with Cleveland in the playoffs, and a win in that game put New York in the famous title game against Baltimore.
"Pat will always be a great Giant," team president John Mara said Tuesday. "He was one of my father's favorites, and his game-winning kick in the snow against the Browns in 1958 is one of the most memorable plays in our franchise's history."
In a story distributed by the Giants, former teammate Frank Gifford — a longtime broadcaster himself — said Summerall was an underrated player because coach Jim Lee Howell and offensive assistant Vince Lombardi wanted to preserve him for kicking.
"Lombardi didn't want him to get hurt," Gifford said. "But we didn't need him as a football player, we needed him as a kicker. I was going both ways and doing the kicking, too. We picked him up from the Cardinals and that was the end of my kicking career."
When asked about his fondest NFL memories during a May 2009 interview with the AP, Summerall said there were things that stood out as a player and broadcaster.
"You always remember the days as a player. I was in four championship games before there was a Super Bowl, so I remember those very well," he said. "Broadcasting, I remember the last (Super Bowl) I did. Of course, I remember that. I remember the first one most vividly than any of the rest."
Summerall was part of the CBS broadcast of the inaugural Super Bowl in Los Angeles on Jan. 15, 1967. After working the first half in the broadcast booth, he switched places with Gifford at halftime and was a sideline reporter during the second half.
"To look at the Coliseum that day and see that there were like 40,000 empty seats and the most expensive ticket was $12, it's incredible to realize what was going on and what it's grown to over the years," he said during the 2009 AP interview. "It's sort of staggering to me."
Summerall, who spent his final years in the Dallas area, living in Southlake, was a member of the North Texas Super Bowl host committee for the game played there in February 2011 in the $1.1 billion Cowboys Stadium that opened in 2009.
"His presence at an NFL game elevated that event to a higher level," Jones said. "There is no question that Pat broadcast more Dallas games on CBS and FOX than any other man, and this is a great loss for thousands of Cowboys fans who spent their Sunday afternoons in the living room with Pat."
Summerall became a play-by-play announcer in 1974, and it was strictly by accident. He was working with Jack Buck, and CBS boss Bob Wussler thought the two commentators sounded too much alike. Summerall told Wussler that if a change was going to be made that he'd like to do play-by-play, and the following Sunday that's what Summerall was doing.
After his final game with Madden, Summerall remained a full-time broadcaster for Fox one more season, doing primarily Dallas Cowboys games during the 2002 season. He decided to step down the following year when he realized he would spend most of the season away from home.
Summerall did a handful of NFL games for Fox and ESPN the next few seasons. He did play-by-play for Fox's broadcast of the Cotton Bowl's games from 2007-10, then for the bowl's 75th anniversary in January 2011 conducted interviews as part of the pregame show and game broadcast. He also had voiceovers that were part of Masters broadcasts for CBS and game broadcasts on NFL Network.
Funeral arrangements were incomplete.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Jake Westbrook still hasn't figured out the Pittsburgh Pirates.
For a day anyway, it didn't matter.
Pittsburgh roughed up the St. Louis Cardinals veteran righthander with four first-inning runs on Tuesday, but a violent thunderstorm storm hit at the end of the second inning and the game was called following a delay of 1 hour, 24 minutes with the Pirates leading 4-2. No makeup date was immediately announced.
Westbrook began the night looking for his 100th career win facing a team he is just 1-7 against. Those numbers didn't appear to get any better after the Pirates turned five consecutive singles into four runs.
The cancellation Westbrook to reset his ERA to this season 0.00 and buy him some time to get a handle on the Pirates.
"It was just one of those things that I wasn't as sharp as I needed to be," Westbrook said.
Westbrook added it's a little strange his nemesis is a team that isn't exactly known for its firepower.
"I wish I could put my finger on it," he said. "I think I had this conversation last year ... it's not like we don't face these guys again. I've got to do my work to figure out what I need to do to get these guys out. I've got to make better pitches."
Manager Mike Matheny said there are no plans to alter the rotation despite the cancellation. Westbrook's next scheduled start is Sunday in Philadelphia. After that Westbrook would face the Pirates in St. Louis on April 27.
Pittsburgh starter Jonathan Sanchez - who came in with a 12.96 ERA - allowed two runs in the first inning but retired the side in order in the second.
Matt Holliday had an RBI single for St. Louis. Garrett Jones, Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez all had RBI singles for Pittsburgh. None of it will count, however, and the game will be replayed in its entirety.
The cancellation allows Pittsburgh's depleted bullpen to get a needed day of rest. The Pirates called up reliever Vin Mazzaro from Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday for some help after starter James McDonald managed to get through just 1 1-3 innings in a 10-6 loss to the Cardinals on Monday, forcing long relievers Justin Wilson and Bryan Morris to work a combined 6 1-3 innings.
Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle hoped Sanchez - who made the team out of spring training as a non-roster invitee - would be able work deep enough to get to the setup guys. It hasn't been the best start to the season for the left-hander. He was roughed up by Arizona in his previous start, allowing nine runs in 3 1-3 innings.
It looked like more of the same in the first inning Tuesday. St. Louis spring training star Shane Robinson made his first start of the season and walked on four pitches to start the game. Carlos Beltran followed with a single two pitches later and Holliday dumped Sanchez's next offering into center, bringing home Robinson.
Allen Craig lined out to shortstop Clint Barmes, but the typically solid Barmes made his second error in as many days when his attempt to double off Beltran at second ended up in right field.
Beltran moved to third and then scored on Yadier Molina's grounder to first.
Westbrook began the night 2-0 with zero earned runs charged to him in 15 2-3 innings this season. It didn't take long for Pittsburgh to break through.
Jose Tabata singled with one out, the first of five straight singles by the Pirates. A rare gaffe by the St. Louis defense helped. With runners on first and third and one out, Russell Martin hit a chopper back to the mound and Westbrook threw to second to try and start a double play. Second baseman Matt Carpenter was late covering and was charged with an error when the ball sailed into center as Walker scored.
Both pitchers settled down in the second before the rain started falling.
The series wraps up Wednesday when Pittsburgh RHP A.J. Burnett (0-2, 3.71 ERA) faces Shelby Miller (2-0, 1.46).
Before the game, the Pirates held a moment of silence for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Jon Jay and Matt Holliday each had two hits and two RBIs as the St. Louis Cardinals jumped on the Pittsburgh Pirates early in a 10-6 victory Monday night.
Allen Craig doubled and drove in three runs for the Cardinals, who knocked around James McDonald (1-2) with a seven-run second inning. McDonald gave up eight runs, three earned, and walked two in 1 1-3 innings, the shortest start of his career.
Lance Lynn (2-0) labored through five innings to get the win. Lynn allowed four runs, walking three and striking out four.
Starling Marte had three hits and Neil Walker homered for the Pirates, who had their three-game winning streak snapped.
He let out a deep sigh and struggled to contain his emotions - the thoughts of Greg Norman, the folks Down Under, the dad he hugged so tight alongside the 10th green.
It sure felt a lot different than the last time Scott was summoned to the media room at the end of a major championship.
That was Lytham, where he had to answer for throwing away a seemingly sure victory in the British Open with bogeys on the last four holes.
This was Augusta, where he reveled in the biggest win of his career Sunday evening.
Less than eight months apart, everything changed.
Now, he's Adam Scott, major champion.
"What an incredible day," he said. "Everything fell my way in the end. You just never know."
Using one of those big putters, Scott became the first Australian to win the Masters, beating Angel Cabrera on the second hole of a stirring playoff played in a steady rain and dwindling light, finally settling down in the hollow that is the 10th green, amid the towering Georgia pines.
Cabrera's 15-foot putt rolled up right next to the hole and stopped. When Scott's 12-footer dropped in the cup, he pumped his arms furiously and screamed toward the gray, darkening sky - quite a celebration for a guy who's always been accused of being a little too laid-back.
No one would've said that on this day.
"I was pumped," he said.
For Scott, this victory was sweet on so many levels.
Certainly, there was a measure of payback for what happened last July at the British Open, where Scott played beautifully for three days and 14 holes and seemed to have a stranglehold on the claret jug. Then he bogeyed the 15th hole. And the 16th. And the 17th. And, stunningly, the 18th, surrendering the title to Ernie Els.
Scott handled the staggering defeat with amazing grace, vowing to somehow "look back and take the positives from it." But no one knew if he might go the way of Ed Sneed or Jean Van de Velde, golfers who threw away majors and never came close to winning another.
For Scott, there are no such worries.
Lytham is redeemed.
"Golf gives," Cabrera said, "and golf takes."
No one knows that more than Norman, a runner-up three times at Augusta National, a third-place finisher three other times, but never a winner. This one was for him, too.
"He inspired a nation of golfers," Scott said. "Part of this is for him because he's given me so much time and inspiration and belief. I drew on that a lot."
In a grander scheme, this victory was for an entire continent. Australia has produced some greats of the game over the last half-century but never a Masters champion. Until now.
They're on top of the world Down Under.
"We are a proud sporting nation and like to think we are the best at everything," Scott said with a mischievous grin. "This is the one thing in golf that we had not been able to achieve. It's amazing that it's my destiny to be the first Aussie to win."
Norman was so nervous watching TV at his home in south Florida that he went to the gym when the final group made the turn. He returned for the last four holes and was texting with friends as his emotions shifted with every putt. Coming down the stretch, three Aussies - Scott, Jason Day and Marc Leishman - actually had a chance to win.
Scott brought it home.
"I'm over the moon," Norman told The Associated Press. "Sitting there watching Adam, I had a tear in my eye. That's what it was all about. It was Adam doing it for himself, and for the country."
For Cabrera, a burly, 43-year-old from Argentina, the majors have been a big giver. His last victory on the PGA or European tours before Sunday? The 2009 Masters. Before that? The 2007 U.S. Open.
In other words, Cabrera doesn't win often, but when he does, it's usually a pretty significant victory.
He almost got another one, trying with Scott in regulation at 9-under 279.
"I had a lot of peace of mind and I was very confident," said Cabrera, who closed with a 2-under 70. "I knew that it depended on me. I knew that (the other contenders) can make some birdies, but I still was thinking that it depended on me."
Cabrera made the turn with a two-stroke lead but stumbled on the back nine, knocking his drive behind the pine trees at the 10th and then sending his ball into Rae's Creek on the 13th, leading to bogeys at both. But a birdie at the 16th gave him a shot, and he struck what might've been the best - well, certainly the most clutch - shot of the day at the 72nd hole after Scott, playing just ahead in the penultimate group, rolled in a 20-footer for birdie and a one-stroke lead.
"For a split-second, I let myself think I could have won," said Scott, who certainly celebrated like his 69 was good enough.
Not so fast.
Cabrera stuck a 7-iron from 163 yards to 3 feet, leaving a gimme of a putt to force the playoff. Scott was watching a television in the scoring area.
"I got to see Angel hit an incredible shot," Scott said. "Then it was try to get myself ready to play some more holes."
They went back to the 18th tee box for the first playoff hole. After matching drives and approach shots, both rolling off the front of the green, Cabrera chipped over Scott's ball and nearly put it in the cup. Scott pitched to 3 feet, both made their putts and the playoff moved on to No. 10.
Again, two more booming drives and two more nifty approaches, leaving them both with a good shot at birdie.
If Cabrera's ball had turned one more time, they might've been returning to the course Monday to finish up.
When it didn't, Scott was determined to end things before nightfall.
"Had to finish it," he said.
Scott got a big assist on the winning putt from his caddie, who knows a thing or two about winning at Augusta. Steve Williams was on the bag for 13 of Tiger Woods' 14 major titles, a close friend to the world's top-ranked golfer before Woods' personal life fell apart. Williams was among those cut loose in the aftermath, a bitter split that made this victory about as satisfying to him as it was Scott.
Especially after Scott turned to Williams to get a read on the putt.
"I could hardly see the green in the darkness," the golfer said. "He was my eyes on that putt."
Scott told Williams he thought the right-to-left break would be about the width of a cup. Williams set him straight.
"It's at least two cups," the caddie said. "It's going to break more than you think."
Scott took the advice.
A short time later, he was trying on a green jacket.
"The winning putt was the highlight putt of my career," Williams said, "because he asked me to read it."
For his former boss, there was more major misery. Woods was at the center of a firestorm for an improper drop during the second round, which led to a two-stroke penalty and complaints that Woods had actually gotten off easy, because he could've been disqualified for signing an improper scorecard.
Four strokes behind going to the final round, Woods struggled with the speed of the greens on the first eight holes - they weren't nearly as quick because of the rain - and was too far behind by the time he got something going. He finished with a 70 and tied for fourth, four shots out of the playoff.
"I played well," he said. "Unfortunately, I just didn't make enough putts."
Day seized the lead with three straight birdies through the middle of the back side, but he couldn't hold on. A curious decision to putt through 12 feet of fringe behind the 16th green led to a bogey, and he surrendered another stroke after failing to get up-and-down from the bunker at the 17th. He finished with a 70 and two shots back at 281.
"I think the pressure got to me little bit," Day said.
Scott didn't let it get to him, even when he couldn't get any putts to fall early in the round with that big stick of his, which have become all the rage in the majors. He finally caught a break at the 13th, when his approach rolled back off the green, but stopped short of the creek. He wound up making a birdie, which gave him the spark he needed.
"I had no momentum on the day at that point," Scott said. "That was a great break. And everyone who wins gets those kind of breaks."
After Lytham, he sure had it coming.
Too bad for them, the bullpen didn't fare so well. The Milwaukee Brewers rallied late and Jonathan Lucroy's home run in the 10th inning gave them a 4-3 win.
Garcia pitched seven innings of shutout ball, working around seven hits and two walks.
"As Jaime pitched as well as he did, it's tough to see it end that way," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said.
The Brewers had gone a team-record 32 innings without scoring before Ryan Braun hit a two-run homer off reliever Trevor Rosenthal in the eighth that made it 3-2.
Braun's second home run of the season snapped a 39-inning shutout streak for St. Louis pitchers. The Brewers had not scored since the second inning Tuesday against the Cubs.
Matheny would have preferred to let the Cardinals closer for now, Mitchell Boggs, pitch the ninth with a cushion. But after Braun connected off Rosenthal, he did not have that luxury.
"The situations you get put into, you got to figure out a way to get out of them," Matheny said.
Milwaukee tied it in the ninth on a leadoff single by Carlos Gomez and an RBI double by Yuniesky Betancourt. Boggs left without retiring a batter and blew his second save in five chances.
"Days like today are tough," Boggs said. "I'm not going to stand here and act like it doesn't affect me, because I care. I wanted to help us win a ballgame today. I didn't do that. If you're a professional, you show up the next day and do your job."
After retiring Rickie Weeks on a fly to start the 10th, Fernando Salas (0-2) gave up Lucroy's first home run of the season.
Brandon Kintzler (1-0) pitched a scoreless ninth and got the first out in the 10th. Burke Badenhop retired pinch-hitter Carlo Beltran on a grounder for the final out and his first save.
Adams had another big day in the loss, hitting a home run and a single. He has homered in three straight games and has a hit in all five games he has played.
Adams is batting .611 (11-for-18) with three homers and eight RBI.
"I'm seeing it well, and feeling good at that plate," Adams said. "It all comes back to the work I'm getting in the cage before the game and making sure I watch the video and I'm prepared."
Matt Holliday had an RBI single and Yadier Molina an RBI double for the other St. Louis runs.
The Cardinals broke through against Marco Estrada with four consecutive two-out hits in the third, including an RBI single by Holliday and an RBI double to the gap by Molina. Allen Craig was thrown out at the plate trying to score on Molina's hit.
Adams made it five straight hits when he led off the fourth with a 419-foot homer to center that made it 3-0.
NOTES: Molina received his fifth consecutive Gold Glove award before the game. ... On Saturday, Adam Wainwright became the first St. Louis pitcher with a shutout in which he struck out at least one batter in every inning since Bob Gibson accomplished the feat on June 17, 1970, at San Diego.
Jim Crews served as the interim coach for the SLU Billikens men's basketball team.
Crews led the team to their first A-10 title in decades and a number 4 seed in the NCAA tournament.
The deal is reportedly long-term, but specifics have not been released.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Brian Elliott notched his third straight shutout, stretching his streak to 189 minutes, 31 seconds without a goal, and the St. Louis Blues won their sixth straight game by beating the Minnesota Wild 2-0 on Thursday night.
Roman Polak ended a 120-game streak without a goal, and Andy McDonald also scored, sending the Wild to their sixth loss in eight games. They have been shut out in three of four, the only times they have been blanked all season.
The Wild have six goals in six games, and their scoreless streak is at 121 minutes, 25 seconds.
The last time the Blues won at least six straight was Oct. 22-Nov. 7, 2010, a seven-game streak. They have given up five goals during the run.
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - Spain's Sergio Garcia and Australia's Marc Leishman -- a pair that has compiled exactly zero major titles between them -- are the surprise first-round leaders at the 77th Masters. Garcia posted a bogey-free 6-under 66 playing in the afternoon to grab a share of the lead with Leishman, who ran off a string of four straight birdies on the way to the 66 he posted early in the day.
Long-hitting Dustin Johnson, another player without a major to his name, finds himself just a shot back after a 67.
Fifty-three year old Fred Couples showed he still can play the tough Augusta National course with a 4-under 68, that puts him in a group of players along with former champ Trevor Immelman.
Four-time champ Tiger Woods posted a 2-under 70. That's only two shots off the best first-round score Woods has ever posted at Augusta, where he is seeking his fifth green jacket. Woods has not won a major in five years.
Chinese teenager Guan Tianlang had an impressive Augusta National debut with a 1-over 73. The 14-year-old became the youngest person to play in the Masters.
Jamie Donaldson had one of the day's highlights with a hole-in-one on the sixth hole, but could only muster a 74.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Jake Westbrook pitched a five-hit shutout and the St. Louis Cardinals backed him with four home runs yesterday in routing the Cincinnati Reds 10-0.
Jon Jay, Carlos Beltran and Matt Adams homered in a span of seven at-bats off Homer Bailey as the Cardinals took two of three from the NL Central champions.
Matt Carpenter added a two-run homer on a four-hit day. Adams homered for the second straight game and added an RBI double and walk.
The Cardinals have dominated the Reds at home the last decade, losing just three of 28 series with two splits.
Westbrook (1-1) threw his fourth career shutout, walking four and striking out three.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Brian Elliott made 15 saves and Alex Steen scored to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 1-0 victory over the Nashville Predators last night.
The Blues extended their winning streak to a season-long five games. The fading Predators have dropped four straight and seven of their last eight.
After a scoreless first period, Steen got the game's first goal at 16:37 of the second. Carrying the puck along the boards on the left side, Steen pulled up at the top of the left circle and fired a slap shot that beat goaltender Pekka Rinne between the pads.
Steen snapped a six-game goalless stretch.
Elliott was relatively untested en route to his second consecutive shutout. He made four saves in the first, six in the second and five in the third.